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Journal Issue: Children, Youth, and Gun Violence Volume 12 Number 2 Summer/Fall 2002

Children, Youth, and Gun Violence: Analysis and Recommendations
Kathleen Reich Patti L. Culross Richard E. Behrman

Endnotes

  1. See the article by Fingerhut and Christoffel in this journal issue.


  2. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Firearm-related injuries affecting the pediatric population. Pediatrics (April 2000) 105(4):888–94.


  3. The evidence is conflicting as to whether the decline in violent crime may be ending. In June 2001, the U.S. Department of Justice released statistics based on a national survey of crime victims indicating that violent crime had fallen 15% in 2000. However, this survey does not include homicides, and it does include "simple" assaults, such as pushing and shoving incidents, which are much more frequent than other more serious crimes and thus tend to dominate the survey. A May 2001 report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which measured only serious crimes like homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, indicated that these serious crimes increased slightly in 2000. See Butterfield, F. Victim poll on violent crime finds 15% drop last year. New York Times, June 14, 2001, at A16.


  4. The Supreme Court ruled in 1939 that the right to keep and bear arms is a collective right bestowed upon organized militias, not individuals. See Carter, G.L. The gun control movement. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997, p. 24. A recent lower federal court decision disagreed with that ruling, supporting an individual right to keep and bear arms. However, the lower court acknowledged that, like other constitutional rights, this right is not unlimited. See Glaberson, W. Court says individuals have a right to firearms: Ruling leaves door open for gun control. New York Times, October 17, 2001, at A12. For instance, states and the federal government can and do ban certain categories of individuals, including convicted felons, those deemed mentally incompetent, and minors, from owning or possessing firearms. See Carter, p. 34. It is unclear whether or when the Supreme Court will revisit issues surrounding the meaning and reach of the Second Amendment.


  5. An estimated 7% of Americans over age 16 use guns for hunting. Estimates of how often guns are used for self-defense vary widely, from 100,000 to 2.5 million times per year. See Cook, P.J., Moore, M.H., and Braga, A.A. Gun control. In Crime: Public policies for crime control. J.Q. Wilson and J. Petersilia, eds. Oakland, CA: ICS Press, 2002.


  6. Researcher Gary Kleck has been the most prominent academic proponent of the view that guns are used to defend against attack much more frequently than they are used to commit crimes. His work, based on a national telephone survey, indicates that guns are used in self-defense about 2.5 million times per year. See, for example, Kleck, G. Targeting guns: Firearms and their control. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1997, pp. 149–52. Some researchers have criticized Kleck's methodology, however, stating that it overestimates the number of defensive gun uses. See, for example, Hemenway, D. Survey research and self-defense gun use: An explanation of extreme overestimates. The Journal of Law and Criminology (Summer 1997) 87(4):1430–45.


  7. Some research indicates that possession of concealed weapons by law-abiding citizens deters crime, because criminals do not know which of their potential targets may be armed. See Lott, J.R., Jr., and Mustard, D.B. Crime, deterrence, and right-to-carry concealed handguns. The Journal of Legal Studies (January 1997) 26(1):1–68; and Lott, J.R., Jr. More guns, less crime: Understanding crime and gun control laws. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. Some scholars have supported the research by Lott and Mustard, whereas others have criticized it as methodologically flawed, spawning a new subfield within gun research. For an overview of the arguments for and against Lott and Mustard's work, see Donahue, J.J. The impact of state laws permitting citizens to carry concealed handguns. Paper presented at the Brookings Conference on Gun Violence. Washington, DC. January 24–25, 2002.


  8. Blackman, P.H. Children and firearms: Lies the CDC loves. Paper presented at the meetings of the American Society of Criminology. New Orleans, LA. November 4–7, 1992.


  9. Eron, L.D., and Slaby, L.G. Introduction. In Reason to hope: A psychosocial perspective on violence and youth. L.D. Eron, J.H. Gentry, and P. Schlegel, eds. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1994, pp. 1–22.


  10. Exceptions relate to employment, ranching, farming, target practice, and hunting. See Krouse, W. Gun control legislation in the 107th Congress. Congressional Research Service issue brief for Congress. Washington, DC: CRS, June 12, 2001.


  11. Vernick, J.S., and Hepburn, L.M. Examining state and federal gun laws: Trends for 1970–1999. In Evaluating gun policy. P.J. Cook and J. Ludwig, eds. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, in press.


  12. Cook, P.J., and Ludwig, J. Gun violence: The real costs. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 35–36.


  13. The term caliber applies to both guns and ammunition. A bullet's caliber is its diameter, and a gun's caliber is the diameter of the inside of the barrel. Caliber is measured in millimeters or fractions of an inch. See Karlson, T.A., and Hargarten, S.W. Reducing firearm injury and death: A public health sourcebook on guns. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997, pp. 27–28.


  14. Zimring, F.E. The medium is the message: Firearm caliber as a determinant of death from assault. Journal of Legal Studies (1972) 1:97–123.


  15. Wintemute, G.J. The future of firearm violence prevention: Building on success. Journal of the American Medical Association (August 4, 1999) 282(5):475–78.


  16. Blumstein, A., and Cork, C. Linking gun availability to youth gun violence. Law and Contemporary Problems (Winter 1996) 59(1):5–24.


  17. Finkelhor, D., and Ormrod, R. Homicides of children and youth. OJJDP Bulletin NCJ 187239. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, October 2001.


  18. Zimring, F.E. The youth violence epidemic: Myth or reality? Wake Forest Law Review (Fall 1998) 33(3):727–44.


  19. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Youth violence: A report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services; and National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 2001, p. 49.


  20. See the articles by Fingerhut and Christoffel, by Blumstein, by Wintemute, and by Fagan in this journal issue.


  21. Schuster, M.A., Franke, T.M., Bastian, A.M., et al. Firearm storage patterns in US homes with children. American Journal of Public Health (April 2000) 90(4):588–94.


  22. Sheley, J.F., and Wright, J.D. High school youth, weapons, and violence: A national survey. National Institute of Justice Research in Brief. Washington, DC: NIJ, October 1998.


  23. Youth who carry handguns. The NHSDA Report. Washington, DC: Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, September 28, 2001.


  24. See, for example, Sheley, J.F., and Wright, J.D. In the line of fire: Youth, guns, and violence in urban America. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1995; Lizotte, A.J., Krohn, M.D., Howell, J.C., et al. Factors influencing gun carrying among young urban males over the adolescent-young adult life course. Criminology (August 2000) 38(3):811–34; May, D.C. Scared kids, unattached kids, or peer pressure: Why do students carry firearms to school? Youth & Society (September 1999) 31(1):100–27; and Sheley, J.F., and Brewer, V.E. Possession and carrying of firearms among suburban youth. Public Health Report (January–February 1995) 110(1):18–26.


  25. Miller, M., Azrael, D., and Hemenway, D. Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths, suicide, and homicide among 5–14 year olds. The Journal of Trauma (2002) 52(2):267–75.


  26. Murphy, S.L. Deaths: Final data for 1998. National Vital Statistics Reports. Vol. 49, no. 11. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2000.


  27. Unpublished calculations based on Snyder, H., Finnegan, T., Wan, Y., and Kang, W. Easy access to the FBI's supplementary homicide reports: 1980–1999. Downloaded from http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/ojstatbb/ezashr/ on February 26, 2002.


  28. See the article by Blumstein in this journal issue.


  29. For example, the nonfirearm-related homicide rate for children under age 15 in the United States is nearly four times the rate in 25 other industrialized nations combined. Some possible reasons for the high rates of lethal violence involving children in the United States include low funding for social programs, ethnic and linguistic diversity, and a culture that conveys messages that violence is socially acceptable. See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates of homicide, suicide, and firearm-related death among children—26 industrialized nations. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (February 7, 1997) 46(5):101–05.


  30. See note no. 29, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 25 comparison countries were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan. In this analysis, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland, and Taiwan were considered as countries.


  31. Birckmayer, J., and Hemenway, D. Suicide and firearm prevalence: Are youth disproportionately affected? Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior (Fall 2001) 31(3):303–10.


  32. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide among African-American youths—United States, 1980–1995. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (March 20, 1998) 47(10):193–96; and Joe, S., and Kaplan, M.S. Firearm-related suicide among young African-American males. Psychiatric Services (March 2002) 53(3):332–34.


  33. Brent, D.A., Perper, J.A., Allman, C.J., et al. The presence and accessibility of firearms in the homes of adolescent suicides. Journal of the American Medical Association (December 4, 1991) 266(21):2989–93.


  34. Brent, D.A., Baugher, M., Birmaher, B., et al. Compliance with recommendations to remove firearms in families participating in a clinical trial for adolescent depression. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (October 2000) 39(10):1220–26.


  35. See note no. 29, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


  36. See note no. 26, Murphy. The percentages of youth firearm deaths attributed to homicides (58%), suicides (33%), and unintentional shootings (7%) do not add up to 100% because, in a few cases, intent was not determined.


  37. See note no. 29, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


  38. Data for firearm-related injuries in the United States are estimates, not actual numbers, because many states do not require hospitals to note causes of injury in their discharge data. See note no. 1, Fingerhut and Christoffel.


  39. Annest, J.L., and Mercy, J.A. Use of national data systems for firearm-related injury surveillance. American Journal of Preventive Medicine (October 1998) 15(3S):17–30.


  40. Mercy, J.A., Ikeda, R., and Powell, K.E. Firearm-related injury surveillance: An overview of progress and the challenges ahead. American Journal of Preventive Medicine (October 1998) 15(3S):6–16.


  41. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Crime gun trace analysis reports: The illegal youth firearms markets in 27 communities. Washington, DC: ATF, February 1999, p. 12.


  42. NVISS funds programs conducting statewide surveillance in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Utah, and Wisconsin, as well as local surveillance in Allegheny County and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Miami-Dade County, Florida; metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, California; and Youngstown, Ohio. See Azrael, D., Barber, C., and Mercy, J. Linking data to save lives: Recent progress in establishing a national violent death reporting system. Harvard Health Policy Review (Fall 2001) 2(2). Downloaded from http://hcs.harvard.edu/~epihc/
    currentissue/Fall2001/azrael.htm
    on March 12, 2002.


  43. Bonnie, R.J., Fulco, C.E., and Liverman, C.T. Reducing the burden of injury: Advancing prevention and treatment. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999.


  44. Just the Facts Campaign. A fact sheet on the need for a national violent death reporting system. Chicago: The HELP Network, 2001.


  45. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Crime gun trace reports (1999): Special report. Washington, DC: ATF, November 2000.


  46. See note no. 12, Cook and Ludwig, pp. 63–73 (for estimates of medical costs) and pp. 85–91 (for estimates of law enforcement costs).


  47. Robinson, T.N., Wilde, M.L., Navracruz, L.C., et al. Effects of reducing children's television and game use on aggressive behavior: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (January 2001) 155(1):17–23; see also the earlier journal issue on children and computer technology, The Future of Children (Fall/Winter 2000), 10(2).


  48. See the article by Garbarino, Bradshaw, and Vorrasi in this journal issue.


  49. Hurt, H., Malmud, E., Brodsky, N.L., and Giannetta, J. Exposure to violence: Psychological and academic correlates in child witnesses. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (December 2001) 155(12):1351–56.


  50. Christoffel, K.K., Spivak, H., and Witwer, M. Youth violence prevention: The physician's role. Journal of the American Medical Association (March 1, 2000) 283(9):1202–03.


  51. See the article by Fagan in this journal issue.


  52. See the article by Hardy in this journal issue.


  53. Dubrow, N.F., and Garbarino, J. Living in the war zone: Mothers and young children in a public housing development. Journal of Child Welfare (1989) 68:3–20.


  54. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Public Education. Media violence. Policy statement. Pediatrics (November 2001) 108(5):1222–26.


  55. See, for example, National Shooting Sports Foundation. Firearms injuries decrease dramatically; Strong downward trend shown in statistical analysis. Press release. December 19, 2001. Downloaded from http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/temp/
    1219-108.html
    on December 21, 2001; and Americans for Gun Safety. Gun safety program: Firearms safety guide. Downloaded from http://w3.agsfoundation.com/safety/rules.html on February 15, 2002.


  56. Coyne-Beasley, T., Schoenbach, V.J., and Johnson, R.M. "Love our kids, lock your guns": A community-based firearm safety counseling and gun lock distribution program. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (June 2001) 155(6):659–64.


  57. However, one study of adolescent gun suicides found that safe storage had no effect on young people's ability to commit suicide with guns. Apparently, youth who were determined to kill themselves with a gun found ways to access guns even when they were stored locked and unloaded. See note no. 33, Brent, et al.


  58. Lott, J.R., Jr. Will questioning our neighbors make us safer? The Hartford Courant, August 29, 2001; and Kleck, G. What are the risks and benefits of keeping a gun in the home? Journal of the American Medical Association (August 5, 1998) 280(5):473–75.


  59. Grossman, D.C., Reay, D.T., and Baker, S.A. Self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and adolescents: The source of the firearm. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (August 1999) 153(8):875–78.


  60. PAX. The ASK message. Downloaded from http://www.paxusa.org/ask.html on February 25, 2002.


  61. Stennies, G., Ikeda, R., Leadbetter, S., et al. Firearm storage practices and children in the home, United States, 1994. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (June 1999) 153(6):586–90; and Senturia, Y.D., Christoffel, K.K., and Donovan, M. Gun storage patterns in US homes with children: A pediatric practice-based survey. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (March 1996) 150(3):265–69.


  62. Farah, M.M., Smith, H.K., and Kellermann, A.L. Firearms in the home: Parental perceptions. Pediatrics (November 1999) 104(5):1059–63.


  63. Jackman, G.A., Farah, M.M., Kellermann, A.L., et al. Seeing is believing: What do boys do when they find a real gun? Pediatrics (June 2001) 107(6):1247–50.


  64. Hemenway, D., Solnick, S.J., and Azrael, D.R. Firearm training and storage. Journal of the American Medical Association (January 4, 1995) 273(1):46–50.


  65. The laws vary in their definition of "child" or "minor." In four states, the law applies if the child or adolescent who finds the gun is under 18; in seven states, the age limit is 16; and in six states, the age limit is 14. See the article by Hardy in this journal issue, Appendix.


  66. Webster, D.W., and Starnes, M. Reexamining the association between child access prevention gun laws and unintentional shooting deaths of children. Pediatrics (December 2000) 106(6):1466–69.


  67. Hardy, M.S., Armstrong, F.D., Martin, B.L., et al. A firearm safety program for children: They just can't say no. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (August 1996) 17(4):216–21.


  68. Lizotte, A., and Sheppard, D. Gun use by male juveniles: Research and prevention. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, July 2001.


  69. Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Committee on Law and Justice, National Research Council; and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Violence in Urban America: Mobilizing a Response. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1994.


  70. Kleck G. Point blank: Guns and violence in America. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991, p. 445.


  71. Fagan, J., and Wilkinson, D.L. Guns, youth violence and social identity in inner cities. In Youth violence, Vol. 24, Crime and justice: A review of research. M. Tonry and M.H. Moore, eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998, pp. 105–88.


  72. Koper, C.S., and Reuter, P. Suppressing illegal gun markets: lessons from drug enforcement. Law and Contemporary Problems (Winter 1996) 59(1):119–46.


  73. Frattaroli, S. Grassroots mobilization for gun violence prevention. Unpublished manuscript. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Center for Gun Policy and Research, October 2001.


  74. See the article by Forman in this journal issue.


  75. See note no. 70, Kleck, p. 353.


  76. Freed, L.H., Webster, D.W., Longwell, J.J., et al. Factors preventing gun acquisition and carrying among incarcerated adolescent males. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (March 2001) 155(3):335–41.


  77. See, for example, Teret, S.P., and Wintemute, G.J. Policies to prevent firearm injuries. Health Affairs (Winter 1993) 12(4):96–108; Robinson, K.D., Teret, S.P., Vernick, J.S., and Webster, D.W. Personalized guns: Reducing gun deaths through design changes. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, September 1996; and Cook, P.J., and Leitzel, J.A. "Smart" guns: A technological fix for regulating the secondary market. Contemporary Economic Policy (January 2002) 20(1):38–49.


  78. U.S. General Accounting Office. Accidental shootings: Many deaths and injuries caused by firearms could have been prevented. GAO/PEMD-91-9. Washington, DC: GAO, March 1991.


  79. See note no. 77, Cook and Leitzel.


  80. See the article by Smith in this journal issue.


  81. Sugarmann, J. Loaded logic: Making guns smart won't stop killings like the one in Michigan. The Washington Post, March 5, 2000, at B2.


  82. Beretta Corporation. Beretta announces position concerning 'smart gun' technology. January 1999. Downloaded from http://www.nraila.org/NewsCenter.asp?FormMode=Detail&ID=894&T=print on August 10, 2001.


  83. National Rifle Association. Fact sheet: Smart guns. Downloaded from http://www.nraila.org/FactSheets.asp?FormMode=Detail&ID=38&T=print on August 10, 2001.


  84. See the article by Teret and Culross in this journal issue.


  85. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Commerce in firearms in the United States. Washington, DC: ATF, February 2000, p. 2.


  86. See the article by Wintemute in this journal issue.


  87. For example, as of 1999, only 17 states had any type of requirement for background checks on private sales, and some of these laws applied only to handguns or specific situations like gun shows. See note no. 11, Vernick and Hepburn.


  88. Zimring, F.E. American youth violence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.


  89. See note no. 6, Kleck, pp. 388–90.


  90. See note no. 5, Cook, et al.; note no. 13, Karlson and Hargarten, p. 109; Berkowitz, L. Guns and youth. In Reason to Hope: A psychosocial perspective on violence and youth. L.D. Eron, J.H. Gentry, and P. Schlegel, eds. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1994, pp. 251–79; and Webster, D.W., Vernick, J.S., and Hepburn, L.M. Relationship between licensing, registration, and other gun sales laws and the source state of crime guns. Injury Prevention (2001) 7:184–89.


  91. Kennedy, D. Can we keep guns away from kids? The American Prospect (June 23, 1994) 5(18):74–80.


  92. See note no. 43, Bonnie, et al., pp. 115–20.


  93. See note no. 43, Bonnie, et al., p. 116.